PUBLISHED IN THE RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Pamela Van Hoozer describes her Nutrition in the Garden volunteer work at Mariposa Academy as “teaching children about growing healthy through gardening.” Pamela believes sharing her gardening passion with kids is a privilege. She says, “They just love garden time—and so do I.”
This holiday season, Pamela has a school garden wish list: “We always need small-to-medium watering cans, heirloom seeds, soil for starting seeds, children’s gardening gloves and garden supply store gift cards.” Also needed are a wheelbarrow and a double sink.
Because Master Gardener Volunteers like Pamela work year-round to improve Nevada’s communities, they know which gifts gardeners want from experience. Use their wish list items as a holiday shopping guide. But remember, Cooperative Extension does not endorse individual items or companies and other products or businesses may also make excellent garden gifts.
Planters: For gardeners getting started or expanding, a gift of planter boxes, raised beds or plant containers creates affordable, accessible and attractive garden areas, even in small spaces. For example, products like the M Brace hold standard 2” lumber to create no-tools-needed raised beds in customizable widths and heights ($59-99, artofthegarden.net). Visit nearby garden shops to discover beautiful and functional ways to provide growing space for your gardener.
Tools: Gardeners often need trowels, shears, bulb planters, rakes, shovels, hoes, wheelbarrows and more. Give tools individually or in a set like the Garden Tool Gift Set by DeWit Tools ($69.50, www.gardentoolcompany.com).
When shopping for the gardener who has everything, consider giving them the ability to maintain it all. Purchase something like the Sneeboer Tool Maintenance Kit, which includes a wire brush with brass bristles to remove excess soil, a wet-stone for sharpening, and linseed oil and cloth to care for wooden handles. ($39.95, www.gardentoolcompany.com). Find a kit locally, or create one by arranging maintenance items in a basket.
Supplies: Small items like gloves, aprons, watering cans, reusable plant labels, and seeds and seed starting supplies make affordable, much-needed presents available from any local garden center.
Protect your gardener from prickly plant scratches with gauntlet gloves and protect their clothes with an apron. Look for aprons with pockets for produce, garden waste or tools. One example is The Roo, which features a water-resistant pouch that can be emptied from the bottom ($32.95, www.roowholesale.com).
If you are struggling to find the ideal gift, try seeds. With so many options, you are bound to discover the perfect present. Vegetable gardeners love heirloom seeds because these seeds can be saved at the end of the season for use next year. Ornamental gardeners will enjoy native, drought-tolerant grasses, shrubs and wildflower seeds from the Great Basin, Sierras and Mojave Desert. For example, the wildflower mix from Comstock Seed in Gardnerville includes hand-collected local native seed and will provide color from spring until frost (prices vary, www.comstockseed.com).
No matter which plant-related presents you give your gardener this season, Cooperative Extension is here to help. Contact a Master Gardener or enroll in a class this spring to learn more about gardening and landscaping in Nevada.
Ashley Andrews is the Cooperative Extension Horticulture Assistant. For questions about your plants, contact a Master Gardener at 775-336-0265 or email@example.com, or visit www.growyourownnevada.com.